Depth-dependence of surf zone eddies : a study at Duck, NC Public Deposited


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  • Surf zone eddies (f < 0.01 Hz) are important in nearshore mixing, shoreline erosion, the distribution of pollutants, and ecological processes, such as offshore transport of larvae. Surf zone eddies have traditionally been treated as two-dimensional features with horizontal length scales larger than the local water depth. Studies by Lippmann et al. (2010) and Henderson (2014) during the Duck94 and Surf Zone Eddy Experiment (SUZEE) indicate the presence of vertical structure in eddies. Here, we numerically investigate the vertical variability of surf zone eddies using the Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment-Transport Model (COAWST). We specifically focus on the influence of wave forcing, bottom friction, and horizontal advection on the structure of eddies. From this study, it is apparent that eddies vary in the vertical and that wave forcing and bottom friction play a strong role in altering the vertical structure while horizontal advection may also have an influence.
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